Friday, November 15, 2013

Both Excited & Scared for 'Noah'

Have you seen that there is a blockbuster movie being made about the biblical character Noah and the story of the flood...and Russell Crowe is playing Noah? Here's the trailer:

I find myself ambivalent about this cinematic project. On the one hand I'm excited that a biblical narrative is being brought into the public sphere by a famous and talented director. The big-budget nature of this film, combined with the popularity of the cast, means that this film will undoubtedly be watched by millions and conversations about this infamous scripture passage will ensue. In my world, conversations about the Bible are always good and helpful. I hope that this movie will spur on great dialogue about who God is and what God is like. I hope it will spur on healthy discussions about a God of redemption, rather than a God of vengeance.

But I have my doubts. From watching the trailer, it seems like there is a lot of violence in the film. Some of that is necessary in staying true to the narrative. It's a violent story. God destroys the world. I could say more here about my view of scripture (I'll save that for another post), but there is no getting around the violence of this tale. But this movie seems to go a little overboard with violence, especially with the character of Noah. When you read this biblical narrative, there is NO INKLING of violence with Noah and his family, and yet, in the movie, Crowe portrays Noah in much the same way as he portrayed Maximus in Gladiator. Cold. Calculated. Dark. Angry.

I worry that the chief message that will emerge from this movie is one of vengeance and retaliation, rather than redemption, hope, and new life. I hope I'm proven wrong. There are a few subtle lines in the trailer about this being a 'beginning and not an end' that give me hope about the message this film will transmit, but I still find myself worried that God will come off as strong, mean, vengeful God, rather than the loving, peaceful, and hopeful God I have encountered in the character of Jesus. Bottom line: I'm excited to see this film when it comes out in March of 2014, and I'm hopeful that productive and transformative conversations will emerge from its viewing.

P.S.  Rob Bell recently wrote a blog post about the story of Noah and his thoughts were very helpful and thought-provoking. You can find them HERE.


  1. After you watch the movie, you'll have to write a review!

    1. Definitely, Summer. I look forward to watching the movie and seeing how this infamous story is told.